Video: Food waste and sustainability feature on Ear to the Ground

Food waste, sustainability and free range ducks and geese are all on tonight’s episode of Ear to the Ground.

Over 1m tonnes of food is being wasted in Ireland each year, Ella McSweeney explores it in more detail.

This is costing the country roughly €1 billion.

Ear to the Ground finds out that we, the consumer, are carrying the brunt of the blame and account for only one quarter of the total.

As the food industry is producing more, prices are dropping and we are faced with the consequences – a serious obesity epidemic is on the rise and our farmers are relying on subsidies to stay afloat, Ear to the Ground discovers more.

Is it time Ireland’s agri-food industry chose quality over quantity, the programme asks.

Helen Carroll this week meets Mary Walsh, who was a stay-at-home mum who always raised some ducks and chickens for the family pot.

By the time her husband Tony retired and the kids had flown the coup, Mary decided she would begin rearing ducks and geese for the free range Irish market.

With little more than a book of Ireland’s top restaurants, Ear to the Ground finds out that Mary knocked on kitchen doors and used her charm and determination to become a significant supplier to some of the most esteemed restaurants in the capital such as Chapter One and Shanahans.

Helen Carroll meets Mary at her home in Co. Kilkenny and gets a master class on how to to cook and prepare duck from Michelin-star chef, Garrett Byrne.

Darragh McCullough looks at sustainability on tonight’s show.

Sustainability is a buzzword in most industries today, with pressure on all of us to reduce our carbon footprint and save the planet.

Farmers are at the coalface, and for them sustainability means producing more from less.

Smarter, less wasteful use of water, soil, animal waste, energy and machinery can make farming more profitable, Ear to the Ground finds out.

More profit can make the farm more sustainable in the long term and Darragh examines the options.

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